With the emergence of new technologies and the dynamic nature of the digital marketing world, there are new marketing strategies that businesses need to be acquainted with. In this write up we’ll be looking at the top 20 online marketing trends for the year 2019. 

1. Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is often compared with multichannel because the two appear to be the same, but they are distinctly different. 

In a multichannel marketing strategy, brands can interact with prospects through various channels (store, website, print ad, or word of mouth). The decision of how to engage with a brand lies with the prospects.

Omnichannel, on the other hand, refers to creating touchpoints that work together on all available channels.  Unlike multichannel, it provides a flawless and consistent communication process to customers across various channels. It offers a better shopping experience for customers. 

This is because customers can make a purchase online via any channel, be it from PC, mobile devices, or in a brick and mortar store. 

2. Chatbots

Chatbots are tools or applications designed to automatically engage with received messages. They are used on business websites to carry out necessary conversations with users. 

Before now, most businesses get closer to their prospects by engaging them on social media. But with the improvement in artificial intelligence, chatbots are nowadays used to interact with website visitors. 

Chatbots serve a variety of purposes. But they are mostly used to automatically respond to frequently asked questions or help users carry out a simple task. They engage website users just like a normal human customer service representative would.

Other uses of chatbots include the following:

  • Lead qualification
  • Shopping assistance
  • Self-service
  • Accessibility
  • Website browsing guide
  • Knowledge-base research
  • Talent recruiting

3. Video marketing

This is not a new marketing concept. Video is one of the traditional content we do watch on our TV. What change is how important it has become on social media and other marketing platforms.

In 2017, Mark Zuckerberg said during a Facebook Earnings call – “I see video as a megatrend. That’s why I’m going to keep putting video first across our family apps.” Cisco also reports that about 82 percent of internet traffic will be through video by 2021.  

If by now you’re not making use of video, you’re likely falling behind. You don’t have to wait till 2021 before you can start benefitting from the trend now.

4. Voice Search

Voice searches are gradually becoming more popular. The reason for this is not far-fetched. With the advancement in voice recognition, people can use a verbal command to order items or control devices at home.

How then does voice search affect your business? Well, you stand to benefit from the following if you optimize your website with voice search.

  • Voice searches last longer than typed searches
  • Majority of those who use voice searchers are looking to buy from local business
  • Voice searches are conversational

In 2016, it was reported that voice searches accounted for 20 percent of searches on mobile devices. And this number is expected to increase. Voice is more comfortable and faster. It is easier for someone who is driving to talk to their phone than type. 

5. User Generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is any content voluntarily created by unpaid contributors. These may include images, videos, text, audio, testimonials, or discussion board. It is a strategy that involves your present customers willingly marketing your product for you. 

You will agree with me that one of the best ways to promote a brand is to show your audience how your current customers are using your product. 

User-generated content has two advantage over other marketing strategy – one, and it easily convinces prospects and two, it is free (cost-effective).

6. AdWords (Google Ads)

AdWords, also known as Google Ads, is an advertising system whereby advertisers bid on specific keywords so that their ads can appear in Google’s search results. The ads are clickable, and the advertisers pay for each click. 

This marketing strategy is worth every dollar spent, as it has shown overtime to generate a great return on investment.

Every well-meaning marketer should be investing more in AdWords in the coming years. Because the revenue generated by AdWords is growing spontaneously, and this will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

7. Personalized marketing

Personalization is another powerful digital marketing tool. Marketers have been using this method over time to develop their marketing efforts.

Research has shown that personalized emails campaigns perform better than regular emails. It was recorded that personalized email received 41% higher click through rates and 29% higher email open rates.

In 2017, about 90 percent of U.S population found personalized content appealing, while only 4% say otherwise. Forbes also reported that 44 percent of consumers say they are likely to buy again from a company after a personalized shopping experience.  

Personalized marketing has numerous benefits; some of them are:

  • Brand consistency
  • More revenue
  • Better customer experiences
  • Increased brand loyalty
  • Cross-channel selling opportunities

8. Programmatic advertising

This involves automating the process of buying and selling of online advertising. It is a strategy that uses artificial intelligence to buy and place ads online based on targeting algorithms. In this type of digital advertising, advertisers only pay for ads that are delivered to the target audience at the right time.

There are so many channels through which businesses reach out to potential customers. It will be difficult to effectively manage ads on all those channels. This is where programmatic advertising comes in handy. More companies are now using AI to manage their advertisements. 

9. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This is presently considered the most significant advancement in technology. AI is a computer system or robot that can carry out task expected of a human. It can collect information through its sensor or human input and then use the information to solve a problem or complete a task. 

In the nearest future, the application of AI will be utilized in various marketing capacities, such as customer support, advertising, and content marketing.

10. Next Generation SEO

SEO is part of the elements that make your brand. Search engines now rank websites based on content and context. This means that you should endeavor to create content that defines your brand. Businesses should focus more and improve on their SEO strategy.

Businesses should do the following to optimize for search:

  • Create pages with the user in mind, not the search engine
  • Prioritize an easy user experience
  • Add different types of media into each webpage
  • Use white hat back-linking strategy
  • Optimize every page for load speed
  • Use schema markup
  • Use a sitemap
  • More attention on video
  • Design more long-form written content
  • Optimize for local search

11. Native Advertising

Internet users are now exposed to more ads. They get more pop-up ads whenever they visit a page. This hampers their user experience, and as a result, they use ad blockers. 

Since most people now use ad blockers, another way to get your message across to them is through native advertising.

Native ads don’t usually look like an ad; they are seen as part of the content on a page. Users are more receptive to native ads.

12. Accelerated mobile pages

About 60 percent of searches on Google are done on mobile devices. And the bounce rate of a website increases if it takes longer to load. High bounce rate negatively affects the ranking of a website on Google.

To increase the loading speed of websites, Google came up with the accelerated mobile pages (AMP) project. It takes AMP pages less than 0.5 seconds to load, thus, creating a lower bounce rate for websites.

13. Augmented reality

Your marketing will be more effective if your potential customers can test your product before making any commitment. Eliminating the risk consumer takes when they buy merchandise for the first time will do your business some good.

Using augmented reality to release your product will remove risk on consumer’s part. And it will also show that your brand can be trusted.

14. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that involves using key leaders (authority) in the industry to promote your brand. An Influencer may be a prominent celebrity or a personality with huge followers on social media. 

People consider them as an authority and trust their recommendations. About 92% of people believe the recommendations of influencers than corporate advertising.

15. Social Messaging App

Social message apps can also be utilized for marketing purposes. Not just for sending messages to friends. People spend more time on messaging apps sending messages to each other. It is only logical to use such platforms to market your product to your potential customers.

16. Social Media Stories

The different social media platforms have introduced the story section on their channel. You can find “My Story” on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube also have their story format. 

You can use the opportunity of fear of missing out (FOMO) to advertise your product.

17. Social Commerce

This involves using both e-commerce and social media to create marketing opportunities. Instagram now allows brands to link to their store where users can make a purchase.

Customers no longer need to switch app or sign in to an unknown store before making a purchase.

18. Growth of Geo-fencing

Geo-fencing allows customer targeting based on user’s location. Though, the concept of advertising to people based on their location had been in existence for long. But the use of geofencing is on the rise.

Geo-fencing is set to grow up to $2.2 billion by 2023.

 19. Progressive Web Apps

These are websites that function like mobile apps. They have fast load times, push notifications, and can work offline. 

The number of smartphone users is expected to increase, this means that the total page view on mobiles will also increase. PWA is now essential for online marketing.  

20. Blockchain Technology

The blockchain technology is not only gaining popularity in the financial world but also digital marketing. It offers excellent benefits for branding, eliminates middlemen in online marketing, and build trust due to its transparency.

With the trends mentioned above, we have provided you with more marketing strategies that you can use to attract more customers and achieve your business goals.

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